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Why Do Organizations Miss the Point When They Focus on Surface Level Behaviors?

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Why do organizations miss the point when they focus on surface level behaviors?

        The economic condition at the start of 21st century is moved and developed from an industrial to a postindustrial economy. Globalization and advances in technology can facilitate greater economic, social, and cultural transfer between people and countries in different parts of the world. Every organization have to radically adapt their cultures, structures, systems and processes in accordance with these changes in order to survive in ever changing business environment. Moreover, they need to cope with increasing functional and cultural diversity in their organizations.

        Individual employees are the most important human asset to any business. When conducting n any business, it is important to have a effective organizational system. When creating this system, managers need to understand the different attributes of an individual and each can bring to the organization. Therefore, managers need to consider the values, attitude, ethics, and cultural differences when creating an organization system for a business success. These organizational behavior factors can impact overall performance of a business organization.

        The surface level of behavior is important for the organization and they cannot miss this opportunity. In the level of surface behavior, there are characteristics such as race, gender which make differences in employees’ behavior. Therefore, the top management of the company should focus more beyond behavior and internal focus of the organization. They should control the behavior and external affecting factors rather than just focus on the surface level behavior.

        There are different types of diversities in an organizational setting. Among them, surface level diversity is those differences in age, gender, ethnicity/race, culture, language, disability of employees etc. This diversity is easy to be measured by the managers. Sometimes, they can fall into the wrong practice of discrimination based on these factors. For example, they think that performance can degrade with age and they prefer younger workforce in their jobs.

        Surface level diversity is often difficult to change and managers have the failure to look into the inner being of the employees. Surface-level diversity is based on race and racial differences cannot be scaled down to zero. Surface-level homogeneous groups perceived their information to be less unique and spent less time on the task than surface-level diverse groups.

        Surface level diversity make a difference for group outcomes and significantly affect the experiences of the individuals within a team and organization. These diverse work teams include members who can be identified as belonging to distinct groups, and they have been found to function differently from homogeneous teams. A common outcome when members of different groups interact is lead to conflicts among them. Surface-level diversity has been primarily linked to relationship which focuses on personality differences, tension, animosity, and annoyance among individuals.

        In conclusion, teams’ diversity and flexibility can provide the value-added to the organization and challenges is also important that organization has access to right resource in right time and place. Management of teams with increasing diversity requires to understanding the general context of changes taking place in organizations. Therefore, the extent to which a unit is heterogeneous on characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity, functional background, is studied in surface level in organizational behavior.


Ely, R.& Thomas, D. (2001). Cultural diversity at work: The effects of diversity perspectives on work group processes and outcomes. Administrative Science Quarterly, Google Scholar, SAGE Journals

Harrison, D. A., Price, K. H. , Gavin, J. A. , & Florey, A. T. (2002). Time, teams, and task performance: Changing effects of surface- and deep-level diversity on group functioning . Academy of Management Journal, Google Scholar, Crossref

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